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Discussion Starter #1
Almost bought a brand new 2013 HD heritage Classic today... Then they let me test ride one... That was a mistake.

After 10 minutes it was HOTTER than hell sitting on the thing, The 103 CI engine had about as much power as my 900, (granted it was bone stock, but so is my 900, whatever,) I did like the 6th gear, but I like the ride on my 900 (with mustang seat) better. Beautiful bike though. LOVE the paint and the colors available. I wish Kawasaki made the 1700 classic in something other than black.

I'm kind of just venting, I really wanted to like that bike. I was ready to buy, cash in hand. I just can't believe the heat, though. It's like sitting on top of a furnace. I can see why you see so many metrics at Sturgis and Daytona these days. Kawasaki, Star, Honda and Suzuki have out Harley-ed Harley.

You just really get used to having liquid cooling and a radiator once you have had one I guess!!! :)

Well I saved a ton of money. Maybe I'll just go get the Orange custom I like and chrome it out.
 

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I share your frustrations. Harley makes some gorgeous bikes. I don't think there's a better looking bike in the world than a chromed-out Ultra Classic. But it's just not the ride I'm used to. I test rode one last year. I guess I felt like a $27,000 Harley ought to blow my $9,000 Kawasaki out of the water; but it didn't. In fact, I was happy to be back on my 9 afterwards.

That said; ANY bike is gonna have more heat than a 900. The 900 has a huge radiator relative to it's engine size and the ENTIRE engine (not just the heads) is liquid cooled. The bike just never gets warm. Even a VN1700 is a lot warmer than a 900. It's all a trade off, of course. The Harley may have felt like it had less power but a lot of that is because it's making it's power in the low end, but doesn't really have a top end (half the redline of our bikes). What that means is, it's making not too much more power, but it's doing it at a fraction of the speed.

I'm frustrated because nobody makes the bike I want! I want a Metric Harley, if that makes sense. I want the color options and paint schemes, lots of accessory options, classic styling, lots of power and reliability, and a great dealer network. But I also want a liquid cooled, smooth, modern engine that makes lots of power, and modern features! Victory I think does that, all except for the styling. The bikes are butt ugly! At least to me.

I have yet to ride a Victory, but people seem to report minimal leg heat with those. They come standard with oil coolers, a big oil capacity, and a lot of oil flow! I wonder how much of a difference in the heat an oil cooler would make?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yea I hear you. I guess I'm not the only one searching for the "perfect" bike. (But the Vulcan 900 comes so close!!!) The victory styling is HORRIBLE and that's being kind. They look like the fat geeky kids to me. But I guess some people like them... As for the power, I guess after a certain amount, enough is enough. Kind of like the sport bikes: it can do 185mph, but that really doesn't mean anything to me at 60! If my bike pulls hard to 65 with passenger and full luggage, so that I'm not even trying to get there any quicker than it can do, who cares?

Maybe I'll just get the purple/black 2012 custom and have a set of Vulcan's. LOL!
 

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Yea I hear you. I guess I'm not the only one searching for the "perfect" bike. (But the Vulcan 900 comes so close!!!) The victory styling is HORRIBLE and that's being kind. They look like the fat geeky kids to me. But I guess some people like them... As for the power, I guess after a certain amount, enough is enough. Kind of like the sport bikes: it can do 185mph, but that really doesn't mean anything to me at 60! If my bike pulls hard to 65 with passenger and full luggage, so that I'm not even trying to get there any quicker than it can do, who cares?

Maybe I'll just get the purple/black 2012 custom and have a set of Vulcan's. LOL!
Have you ridden the 1700's? They are good bikes. Some heat, but forum members seem to think wrapping the pipes, using a high-grade coolant and running synthetic oil keeps it cool. I rode a 1700 Voyager, and it was a great ride. It felt 'right at home', like I was on my 900, just without the high RPM vibration and with the nice addition of electronic cruise control and ABS.

I haven't ridden a Victory, but man feature wise they are so cool. ONE engine, ONE platform. Every bike can have cruise control added, ABS on a large range of bikes. Tons of accessories, super reliable. But yeah; dang, I'm glad someone is trying to be different for a change, but that's a little TOO different. Of course some people like the look! I'm not one of those people.
 

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I share your frustrations. Harley makes some gorgeous bikes. I don't think there's a better looking bike in the world than a chromed-out Ultra Classic. But it's just not the ride I'm used to. I test rode one last year. I guess I felt like a $27,000 Harley ought to blow my $9,000 Kawasaki out of the water; but it didn't. In fact, I was happy to be back on my 9 afterwards.

That said; ANY bike is gonna have more heat than a 900. The 900 has a huge radiator relative to it's engine size and the ENTIRE engine (not just the heads) is liquid cooled. The bike just never gets warm. Even a VN1700 is a lot warmer than a 900. It's all a trade off, of course. The Harley may have felt like it had less power but a lot of that is because it's making it's power in the low end, but doesn't really have a top end (half the redline of our bikes). What that means is, it's making not too much more power, but it's doing it at a fraction of the speed.

I'm frustrated because nobody makes the bike I want! I want a Metric Harley, if that makes sense. I want the color options and paint schemes, lots of accessory options, classic styling, lots of power and reliability, and a great dealer network. But I also want a liquid cooled, smooth, modern engine that makes lots of power, and modern features! Victory I think does that, all except for the styling. The bikes are butt ugly! At least to me.

I have yet to ride a Victory, but people seem to report minimal leg heat with those. They come standard with oil coolers, a big oil capacity, and a lot of oil flow! I wonder how much of a difference in the heat an oil cooler would make?
I've ridden the Cross Country Tourer in 100+ ambient temperatures.:eek:

That thing cooked my legs!
Thank goodness it had a low seat height so I could get a little bit of a wide stance at red lights.

I could feel the heat from my 900 at a long light; but it never caused pain. the XCT felt like my legs were too close to a campfire.

Maybe, the Vics without a lower fairing run cool??
But, the XCT was a whole lot hotter than my 900 or even my Voyager (with KAMS).

Scott
 

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In '07 when I was looking to upgrade from my Vulcan 750, I had my eye on the 900. However, I shopped around for comparison and was astounded. To get what I ended up with on the 900 I spent $10,400. I had the list of accessories I wanted and priced out the other manufacturers. Most were +/- $1k except HD. I liked the Vulcan series and had test drove an 800 a couple years earlier so as far as metrics, it was a good bet I would end up with the Vulcan. But out of curiousity I spec'd out a HD with the dealer. WOW, over $14k for a simular look, just with HD logos everywhere. Didn't even test drive an HD, just went with the 900 and have been happy since.

I will say that I do love the water cooled engine. The only thime it is a proplem is in stop and go traffic (mostly stop) and the fan kicks on. But luckily on my commute that is only for a few miles and usually less than 15 minutes.

I second what Romans was saying, it would be nice to have the dealer network HD and some others have. If I owned a Harley, Honda, or Suzuki I would be golden for support as there is at least one of each in a 10 mile radius of home. Unfortunately, the nearest Kawasaki dealership to me is 45 minutes away. I say unfortunately only when I have to take it for service (like the 15K service) and it need left overnight. Otherwise it's just another opportunity to get a couple hours of riding in, which is always a good thing.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
In '07 when I was looking to upgrade from my Vulcan 750, I had my eye on the 900. However, I shopped around for comparison and was astounded. To get what I ended up with on the 900 I spent $10,400. I had the list of accessories I wanted and priced out the other manufacturers. Most were +/- $1k except HD. I liked the Vulcan series and had test drove an 800 a couple years earlier so as far as metrics, it was a good bet I would end up with the Vulcan. But out of curiousity I spec'd out a HD with the dealer. WOW, over $14k for a simular look, just with HD logos everywhere. Didn't even test drive an HD, just went with the 900 and have been happy since.

I will say that I do love the water cooled engine. The only thime it is a proplem is in stop and go traffic (mostly stop) and the fan kicks on. But luckily on my commute that is only for a few miles and usually less than 15 minutes.

I second what Romans was saying, it would be nice to have the dealer network HD and some others have. If I owned a Harley, Honda, or Suzuki I would be golden for support as there is at least one of each in a 10 mile radius of home. Unfortunately, the nearest Kawasaki dealership to me is 45 minutes away. I say unfortunately only when I have to take it for service (like the 15K service) and it need left overnight. Otherwise it's just another opportunity to get a couple hours of riding in, which is always a good thing.
I put saddlemen bags and a Memphis Fats windshield on my 2012 Vulcan. So with the purchase price of the bike and acc. I'm at about $8,500 The Heritage classic 2013 was $19,500. For $11,000 more money in my pocket I think I can live without the dealer network! All of a sudden driving 200 miles to Portland Oregon for a decent Kawasaki dealer doesn't seem like much of a problem. Heck I could buy the Purple Custom Vulcan and still have change left over for what the one Harley cost. And I'm sure those who love them love them, and I respect and support anyone on 2 wheels, but I personally don't see the attraction... I tried really hard to buy one... :)
 

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The Victory Cross Country TOUR is a very hot bike. My regular Cross Country without the hard highway bar lowers however is no hotter to ride than the Vulcan 900 I have for my son to ride. I encourage you to ride a regular Cross Country once. They do have buffeting issues but that is easily addressed with some good fork lowers. I have the vinyl closeouts that slip over the highway bars for cold and wet protection. If I run them when it is hot out then I get that heat from my bike to but only in really hot temps when you dont normally use them anyway. The beauty of them is you put them on when you need them, stow them in the saddlebag when you dont. You can't do that with a Cross Country Tour or Harley Ultra.
 

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Almost bought a brand new 2013 HD heritage Classic today... Then they let me test ride one... That was a mistake.

After 10 minutes it was HOTTER than hell sitting on the thing, The 103 CI engine had about as much power as my 900, (granted it was bone stock, but so is my 900, whatever,) I did like the 6th gear, but I like the ride on my 900 (with mustang seat) better. Beautiful bike though. LOVE the paint and the colors available. I wish Kawasaki made the 1700 classic in something other than black.

I'm kind of just venting, I really wanted to like that bike. I was ready to buy, cash in hand. I just can't believe the heat, though. It's like sitting on top of a furnace. I can see why you see so many metrics at Sturgis and Daytona these days. Kawasaki, Star, Honda and Suzuki have out Harley-ed Harley.

You just really get used to having liquid cooling and a radiator once you have had one I guess!!! :)

Well I saved a ton of money. Maybe I'll just go get the Orange custom I like and chrome it out.
Let me tell you - having just bought a 2013 Road King, that 103 has a LOT more power than my 900. Tons more. The power isn't even a comparison. Now, the heat? Yeah, that's a different story. That is something different. You get on that thing on a hot day, and you really feel it. However, once you're moving along, it's no different from the 900. And, I'm not sure about the FLSTC, but I know the new touring bikes have integrated oil coolers.

Harley also has this thing they call EITMS. Basically, when certain parameters are met (in neutral, oil temp above a certain value, speed below a certain value, etc), fuel is cut from the rear cylinder and that cylinder basically becomes an air pump, cooling the engine. I've only had it kick in a couple of times. And, if you don't like it, disable it. Very easy to do.

Regarding the ride - i almost bit the bullet on a Heritage, but went with the Road King because of the ride. The touring suspension on those bikes is something else. I'm a short girl, so I had mine lowered 1" in the rear (lowering blocks, no shock replacement) and the ride is STILL better than the Heritage. The Heritage is, by far, the most beautiful motorcycle that Harley makes. But, I do too many 500-mile days for that. LOL.

Personally, I think you did the best thing. If you really want a Harley, you WILL go back and evaluate different bikes, etc. if you don't, you truly did just save yourself a lot of money. You have to really want a HD to justify the purchase. Some people just aren't ready for that, and that's cool!
 

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Let me tell you - having just bought a 2013 Road King, that 103 has a LOT more power than my 900. Tons more. The power isn't even a comparison. Now, the heat? Yeah, that's a different story. That is something different. You get on that thing on a hot day, and you really feel it. However, once you're moving along, it's no different from the 900. And, I'm not sure about the FLSTC, but I know the new touring bikes have integrated oil coolers.
I think the gearing is what throws people off. When I test rode a CVO Ultra Classic with a 103 a couple times at low speeds I rolled on the throttle and kind of thought "Man, where is the power?". But, coming off of a 900, I was shifting a lot earlier than I should have been. When you let the engine spin a bit it rolls on the power.

The one I rode definitely had more pull than my 900.

The ride didn't impress me though. I walked away feeling "meh". And, I dunno, I feel like if I'm gonna spend thousands more it ought to impress me! And it just didn't. I preferred the way the 1700 Voyager rode, so that'll probably be next for me eventually.

I kinda felt bad. I was at a bike show and the local H-D dealer was there doing demo rides. The salesman tried to get me to ride one and I said "I'm not interested in buying anything right now I'm happy with my bike", but he really wanted me to ride it (He says he's marketing, not sales, his job is to get people to ride them, that's all. Works for me!). Afterwards he got off his bike after this 90 minute demo ride and asked me what I thought and I said "Well it was okay" and before I could finish my wife, who rode on the back, said "I hated it". LOL. Poor guy. Guess that settles that! Although she rides her own most of the time so two-up comfort is less of a concern right now.

They are great bikes though! People knock the Harley's a lot, but H-D makes a good bike. They just don't make my bike yet.
 

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I think the gearing is what throws people off. When I test rode a CVO Ultra Classic with a 103 a couple times at low speeds I rolled on the throttle and kind of thought "Man, where is the power?". But, coming off of a 900, I was shifting a lot earlier than I should have been. When you let the engine spin a bit it rolls on the power.
PRECISELY!!! You hit that nail right on the head!!

Once you learn the shift points, there's more power than you know what to do with. And, there's nothing like cruising at 65 MPH at less than 3000 RPMs!!

. . . but H-D makes a good bike. They just don't make my bike yet.
I'm noting this! LMAO! :p
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Let me tell you - having just bought a 2013 Road King, that 103 has a LOT more power than my 900. Tons more. The power isn't even a comparison. Now, the heat? Yeah, that's a different story. That is something different. You get on that thing on a hot day, and you really feel it. However, once you're moving along, it's no different from the 900. And, I'm not sure about the FLSTC, but I know the new touring bikes have integrated oil coolers.

Harley also has this thing they call EITMS. Basically, when certain parameters are met (in neutral, oil temp above a certain value, speed below a certain value, etc), fuel is cut from the rear cylinder and that cylinder basically becomes an air pump, cooling the engine. I've only had it kick in a couple of times. And, if you don't like it, disable it. Very easy to do.

Regarding the ride - i almost bit the bullet on a Heritage, but went with the Road King because of the ride. The touring suspension on those bikes is something else. I'm a short girl, so I had mine lowered 1" in the rear (lowering blocks, no shock replacement) and the ride is STILL better than the Heritage. The Heritage is, by far, the most beautiful motorcycle that Harley makes. But, I do too many 500-mile days for that. LOL.

Personally, I think you did the best thing. If you really want a Harley, you WILL go back and evaluate different bikes, etc. if you don't, you truly did just save yourself a lot of money. You have to really want a HD to justify the purchase. Some people just aren't ready for that, and that's cool!
I totally see the power thing. I knew it had to be in there somewhere. You don't double your engine size without something happening, other than it's 3 times hotter!!! :)

Now the Road King is a different deal entirely. The rear cylinder shut off isn't on the Heritage, nor the suspension either. I bet it makes a big difference. I agree I really like the looks of the heritage.

For me personally, the 900 really hits the sweet spot. Big enough to cruise down the interstate all day and not a huge pain to blast around the city with. I love the looks and the ride. The price is right and the hassle factor is low. I may pick up a 900 LT in 2014 if they come out with a cool color I like. That's really the only complaint I'm down to on the Jap bikes: you have to wait for the color you may want on a yearly basis. GOOD THING I LOVE the Candy Arabian RED!!! :) But... We'll see.
 

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I totally see the power thing. I knew it had to be in there somewhere. You don't double your engine size without something happening, other than it's 3 times hotter!!! :)

Now the Road King is a different deal entirely. The rear cylinder shut off isn't on the Heritage, nor the suspension either. I bet it makes a big difference. I agree I really like the looks of the heritage.

For me personally, the 900 really hits the sweet spot. Big enough to cruise down the interstate all day and not a huge pain to blast around the city with. I love the looks and the ride. The price is right and the hassle factor is low. I may pick up a 900 LT in 2014 if they come out with a cool color I like. That's really the only complaint I'm down to on the Jap bikes: you have to wait for the color you may want on a yearly basis. GOOD THING I LOVE the Candy Arabian RED!!! :) But... We'll see.
Buying a different 900 just for the paint job? You can get an awfully good paint job for the $10,000 you'll spend on the bike. Heck, I bet you could take your bike to a paint shop, show them the Harley Davidson color scheme you like, and get it sprayed on your bike. If you wanna save a bundle take all the parts off yourself and sand them down really good. Take ya a couple hours but those guys charge a lot for prep work, so it will put a dent in the price. In all honesty you can get a pretty good paint job for a couple grand. For under $1000 you can get a decent paint job. The Vulcans don't come with top-notch paint jobs to begin with anyway, it's fairly thin paint.

Guy I met at a bike show spent 4 grand and got his bike painted, airbrushed, pin striped and cleared and it looked fantastic! If ALL you are after is the paint colors, and you'd rather have the Vulcan, then just put the money you saved towards a good painter!
 

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Now the Road King is a different deal entirely. The rear cylinder shut off isn't on the Heritage, nor the suspension either. I bet it makes a big difference. I agree I really like the looks of the heritage.
Just checked - the Heritage does have the EITMS. It usually isn't on from the factory, but it's incredibly easy to turn on and off.

There's no fix for the suspension, though. The Heritage is a totally different frame than the Road King, doesn't have the air ride shocks, etc.

That's really the only complaint I'm down to on the Jap bikes: you have to wait for the color you may want on a yearly basis. GOOD THING I LOVE the Candy Arabian RED!!! :) But... We'll see.
Oh, HD has that issue, too. Lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Buying a different 900 just for the paint job? You can get an awfully good paint job for the $10,000 you'll spend on the bike. Heck, I bet you could take your bike to a paint shop, show them the Harley Davidson color scheme you like, and get it sprayed on your bike. If you wanna save a bundle take all the parts off yourself and sand them down really good. Take ya a couple hours but those guys charge a lot for prep work, so it will put a dent in the price. In all honesty you can get a pretty good paint job for a couple grand. For under $1000 you can get a decent paint job. The Vulcans don't come with top-notch paint jobs to begin with anyway, it's fairly thin paint.

Guy I met at a bike show spent 4 grand and got his bike painted, airbrushed, pin striped and cleared and it looked fantastic! If ALL you are after is the paint colors, and you'd rather have the Vulcan, then just put the money you saved towards a good painter!
Well, I was kinda thinking ANOTHER Vulcan rather than a replacement vulcan, but I understand your point. Which leads me to think that I could pick up a good used one in ANY color and then rip it apart and have it custom painted anything I like. We have a really good paint and body shop around here that does a lot of high end custom cars... Hmmmm....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I have a 2010 Nomad 1700. The heat is directed away from the rider. Kawasaki actually had an aftermarket heat shield that they installed on the 09 Nomads. Rider comfort was Kawasaki's main objective when the came out with the new 1700's.[/QUOTE

The Harley is a classic, no question. But after you have ridden a bike with a radiator, the Harley seems a little too classic, like stuck in the 1940's classic... Kind of like having a jeep from the 1960's with an AM radio and no air conditioning. Way hip, but I think I'll take my 2013 Jeep with XMS radio and a great AC. :)
 

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The Harley is a classic, no question. But after you have ridden a bike with a radiator, the Harley seems a little too classic, like stuck in the 1940's classic...
Interestin observation. After 800 miles of owning one, I didn't feel that way at all. It definitely feels more "solid", though. Only time I even feel the heat is at a stop light.
 

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Interestin observation. After 800 miles of owning one, I didn't feel that way at all. It definitely feels more "solid", though. Only time I even feel the heat is at a stop light.
I've never really ridden an HD other than a quick putt on a country road so I can't speak of the heat. However, after having owned a 900 and now the 1700 classic, the 1700 throws a lot more heat than the 900. I'm thinking its pretty unavoidable when you're sitting on 1700 cc's no matter what kind of bike it is.
 

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I've never really ridden an HD other than a quick putt on a country road so I can't speak of the heat. However, after having owned a 900 and now the 1700 classic, the 1700 throws a lot more heat than the 900. I'm thinking its pretty unavoidable when you're sitting on 1700 cc's no matter what kind of bike it is.
I would have to agree with that. However, when you're moving at 30 or 40 MPH, you can really feel a thing on my HD. Well, unless you put your hand down there and touch the engine, and if you do that, you're an idiot. LOL.
 

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For me personally, the 900 really hits the sweet spot. Big enough to cruise down the interstate all day and not a huge pain to blast around the city with. I love the looks and the ride. The price is right and the hassle factor is low. I may pick up a 900 LT in 2014 if they come out with a cool color I like. That's really the only complaint I'm down to on the Jap bikes: you have to wait for the color you may want on a yearly basis. GOOD THING I LOVE the Candy Arabian RED!!! But... We'll see.
The "9" is just a all round solid bike ... Its does not do all things great, just most things well.
 
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